Cherry Blossom Mania

It had been a quiet week, thanks to the cloudy weather and intermittent rain.  The cherry blossoms had not been officially declared “at peak.”  Few photographers bothered to show up in the wee hours before the sun made its appearance.  But on Saturday, everything changed.

Cherry Blossom Chaos 18

A little after 6:00 AM and there were only a few spots with some room.

Cherry Blossom Chaos 01A

And it was possible to get a pretty decent image at 6:25 AM

Cherry Blossom Chaos 03

But soon it seemed that anyone who had a camera was here.

Cherry Blossom Chaos 02

Even an IMAX film crew working a documentary for the National Park Service.

Cherry Blossom Chaos 06

A few photographers were fashionably color coordinated (Note the teal accents).

Cherry Blossom Chaos 05

Even the Tripod Police dressed up with nice blue accessories.

Cherry Blossom Chaos 04

Everyone was in a good mood, some especially so.

Cherry Blossom Chaos 07

Those who got up late paid the price (But pink and blue was still the rule).

Cherry Blossom Chaos 13

Still, photo ops are where you find them

Cherry Blossom Chaos 10

Others used the blossoms as a prop instead of the subject.

Cherry Blossom Chaos 11

This magnolia tree is a favorite for wedding photographers

Cherry Blossom Chaos 08

A wedding announcement?  Not a bad idea.

Cherry Blossom Chaos 14

This pose started to draw a crowd.

Cherry Blossom Chaos 12

As did this one

Cherry Blossom Chaos 01

But the men practicing for the Kumu’ohu Challenge race on April 18 could care less.

Cherry Blossom Chaos 15

No need to hire a photographer, get a remote and Voila!

Cherry Blossom Chaos 16

A classic áo dài, and a perfect occasion for it.

Recipe for a perfect cherry blossom shoot?

The day before official peak must be a weekday, with a forecast that calls for clouds, rain, and wind. And the forecast turns out to be wrong on all three counts.

Keep shooting

36 thoughts on “Cherry Blossom Mania

  1. Love your optimism in the last paragraph 🙂 It looks so beautiful no wonder everyone was out there snapping and it looks like you decided if you couldn’t beat them, join them or make use of them at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much, that’s pretty much how it went: “If you can’t beat ’em…. ” Fortunately I had been down there several times during the previous week when it was quiet so I had a few good shots in the bag, as it were. Otherwise, it would have been more frustrating.


  2. Robin, I am so happy that you are alive and able to send these wonderful photos for all of us to see ! I haven’t been to Washington for Cherry Blossom Festival since 2008, so through your marvelous photos, I feel as if I am there again. Thank you soooo much !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the fact that in every image the photographer is using a real camera and not their phone or tablet (no offense to those that do). I was lucky when I went to a conference in DC in 2010 it coincided with the festival. I wasn’t even aware of it at the time. I was able to extend my stay for a few days. I’d love to go back!


    • Thanks for visiting and for your comments. I must admit, there were also a lot of people using their phones but the real cameras were well represented. I spoke with one young woman who had her iPhone on one of those little Gorilla Pods doing a timelapse series of images of the sunrise. That was pretty cool but most of the camera phone people were doing selfies.


  4. The blossoms look gorgeous but I don’t think I could cope with it being that crowded. You are clearly more tolerant than I am. I took a picture of my kids on that magnolia tree not realizing it was a thing people do. I unwittingly participated in cliche.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Laura. It helped that everyone there (except maybe the woman shooting from the car) was in a festive mood. The weather was close to perfect, not too hot which also helps. Funny that you had photographed your kids on the very same tree. In the case of that specific tree, however, I would call it more of a “tradition” than a cliche.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I appreciate that. I decided not to go back on Sunday, knowing that two days of that would be a little much. Overall it was a good season for the cherry blossoms. The weather was mild throughout, the blooms emerged gradually and there was no violent weather to knock the blossoms down prematurely. The cloudy days leading up to the peak on the weekend actually provided some excellent shooting opportunities because very few people came down, holding off for what was forecast to be a fabulous weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aww, you got to see BOTH the IMAX film crew and the mounted police — I’m jealous! 🙂

    Good shots, as always. It looks as though you did the same thing as me and focused quite a bit on the crowd this time around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I think it was a cameo appearance by the mounted police. And you’re right that we were on the same track. One thing about being in a huge crowd where everyone is taking pictures–no one notices when you point a camera at them.


      • Isn’t THAT the truth! People were so fixated on their own shots that I began to switch over to street shooting, and I think I got some decent images. I have the C-41 films back now; I just have to process the black and white later tonight and tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. So wonderful the Cherry Blossoms – amid the masses! Your photos are lovely and capturing the excitement – as their blossoms only last for a short period of time (attracting the masses) – which is all part of Spring!


  7. Amazing how many people were there for the blossoms! I love your humorous review of the day, some interesting poses going on there! Looking at your first few photos though, you definitely got there at the best part of the day, they are stunning! Early mornings for the next few days? 🙂


    • Thanks, Katie, glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, the early morning can bring some some great light, even when there are clouds. But I think it is pretty well over at the Tidal Basin; I was down this morning and the rain from yesterday appears to have knocked off a significant percentage of the petals.


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